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The Importance of Social and Government Learning in Ex Ante Policy Evaluation

Castaeda, G; Guerrero, OA; (2019) The Importance of Social and Government Learning in Ex Ante Policy Evaluation. Journal of Policy Modeling , 41 (2) pp. 273-293. 10.1016/j.jpolmod.2019.01.001. Green open access

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Abstract

We provide two methodological insights on \emph{ex ante} policy evaluation for macro models of economic development. First, we show that the problems of parameter instability and lack of behavioral constancy can be overcome by considering learning dynamics. Hence, instead of defining social constructs as fixed exogenous parameters, we represent them through stable functional relationships such as social norms. Second, we demonstrate how agent computing can be used for this purpose. By deploying a model of policy prioritization with endogenous government behavior, we estimate the performance of different policy regimes. We find that, while strictly adhering to policy recommendations increases efficiency, the nature of such recipes has a bigger effect. In other words, while it is true that lack of discipline is detrimental to prescription outcomes (a common defense of failed recommendations), it is more important that such prescriptions consider the systemic and adaptive nature of the policymaking process (something neglected by traditional technocratic advice).

Type: Article
Title: The Importance of Social and Government Learning in Ex Ante Policy Evaluation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpolmod.2019.01.001
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpolmod.2019.01.001
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Policy evaluation, Development economics, Corruption, Agent-based model, Sustainable development goals
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10078258
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